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Central America Debris – a mid year review

Canada Day July 1st has been and gone, a reminder that the first half of 2013 has passed with it. As it has been an extremely busy year, we thought this would be a great time to do a quick recap of the last six months.

We started our Central America adventure almost eight months ago and strangely enough, we are back in Belize, right were we started. For an insight into how we were feeling check out our last post of 2012.

Our plan was to stay in Central America for six months November until May…… by the time we head home it will be almost 11 months.

Hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane we have!

January

We kicked off to a slow start in Punta Gorda, Belize, the place time forgot or so it seemed! Punta Gorda is a world away from touristy Placencia and not the ideal place to welcome in the New Year.

From Punta Gorda we caught the ferry to Livingston, Guatemala and made some new friends on the ride over. First impressions of Livingston recalled, the pervading aroma of Livingston still resides with me.

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While in Livingston we explored the famous Rio Dulce river (link to video) and had a very muddy visit to the famous Seven Altars. A small boat to Puerto Barios and a 6-hour minivan ride took us to La Ceiba, Honduras where we caught the ferry to Utila a member of the Bay Islands. Check here for the full report

February

Utila has a reputation for inexpensive scuba diving and many sand flies. Diving was excellent especially at Roatan Banks and the sand flies could indeed be bad. We spent just over a month there, in a small apartment by the ocean. One of neighbours became a good friend and she is joining us later this month here in Belize. Eventually island fever got the better of us and we moved on to San Jose, Costa Rica with a short stay on the more upscale island of Roatan.

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March

While in Costa Rica we spent some time in Playa del Coco with some of our Utila friends and then headed north into Nicaragua to visit the colonial city of Granada. I loved the place and even considered the idea of purchasing property to develop a small boutique hotel! Luckily, Mike talked me out of it. The people were super friendly and the architecture very inviting and colourful.

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On our way back down to San Jose we stayed for a few days in undeveloped Playa Brasilito, the ocean does keep drawing us back to it.

We completed our first housesit in Escazu (suburb of San Jose), we looked after a beautiful hillside home and an adorable one eyed cat Pikachu. During our time here, we decided to enter and film our video entry into Internationals Livings win a dream retirement trip Granada, Nicaragua.  We would love to go back for a month with all expenses paid!

We then did two solid days of bus travel to get us into David, Panama to meet up with our next client and head over to Boquete & Ellee the Adventure Dog (link to video). Mike spent the first two weeks on his back, with the occasional trip to the chiropractor, meanwhile I and Ellee became best buddies.

April

We spent in Boquete with an ever-changing view of Volcan Baru from our covered back porch. The flourishing expat community here meant we had lots to do including Yoga, Tai Chi, theatre, and bird watching. We spent most of our time enjoying the view and taking Ellee for long walks.

May

May 1st we found out that we were shortlisted into the top 20 from hundreds of video entries. To get to the next stage we had to gather Votes! As we were, still housesitting this was a perfect opportunity to reconnect with family and friends and we had a blast! May 23rd bought the news that we had indeed made the top three finalists and now had to answer a few questions and do a phone interview.

In the meantime, a long held wish of mine was falling into place. I had sent out my first queries to editors in regards to writing a travel piece about a brand new eco-resort. My efforts were fruitful and we were heading off to Isla Palenque for a press stay!

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This is where life became very interesting! Our clients return was delayed and we had to scramble to find replacements for us while we went for our “island time”. Friends stepped in to save the day and we spent five idyllic days on Isla Palenque, beautiful island, wonderful people and superb food.

May finished on a low note. IL did not choose us as finalists for the trip to Granada; however, we gave it all we had and got to reconnect with lots of friends,. The couple who did win are such a great pair, we wish them a super time.

June

Found us still in Boquete as our client recovered from his mammoth journey. Once he was back on his feet we headed off to visit some of Panamas Caribbean islands Bocas Del Toro!

These islands reminded us of Utila with a little more Caribbean flavour and much more expensive restaurants. It was here that I got some writing done and submitted my first article for publication. I am now a published writer (other than our blog) Yes!

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I also ticked two items off my bucket list in June. The first was witnessing a Leatherback Turtle haul herself ashore to lay her eggs in Bocas Del Toro.The second was to do a transit of the Panama Canal! All I can say is “Mind-blowing” (there will be more to follow on both items)

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Michael sold some of his photographs this June; some of them already published in The Ambler.

The end of June has bought us back to Placencia Belize. It seems as though we never left, yet so much has happened in between.

We have dared to dream, to take the steps to reach that dream and have achieved the dream! There is no way we will ever go back to the corporate 9 to 5 world. After 14 months on the road, we know that we can travel sustainably, learn new skills and have the initiative to use them. As Michael would say, “Life is Friggintantastic!”

About the author: Born in the UK, with what must be more than a dash of Romany blood in her veins, Yvonne loved to travel even before she met Michael. Yvonne has a varied career history, which includes several laborious years as a laboratory manager, followed by a fun few years as a scuba instructor and crew in the British Virgin Islands, and then many boring years in financial services. Her discontent along with the passing of a dear friend was the prod that led to the realisation that there was a lot more do in life. It has taken almost 40 years to come full circle to realize what Yvonne’s English teacher saw all those years ago……… Yvonne’s true passion (apart from travel) is writing and now finds herself fortunate to have the time to follow her bliss and combine the two as a blogger and travel writer. Yvonne writes most of the content and talk to lots of strangers (the best way to get the real scoop on the place). Yvonne is a “rainmaker” and males things happen!

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